Rules of the ride

All participants coming from “out of town” are very much encouraged to arrive in Nhulunbuy on the weekend before. Everyone to be in Gove by Sunday 24th. Acclimatisation is very important for both riders and crew. The weather in Nhulunbuy is much warmer than the southern winter weather at that time.

Cost:

The cost of the Tour is $1000 per rider. This will be in the form of a donation to St John Ambulance, and receipts will be available after the ride. Crew are free, as they certainly earn their money along the way.

Fund Raising:

All participants are encouraged to raise as much as you can by way of sponsorships and donations. Tax receipts are provided to all those who contribute.

Bank Account:

Westpac Nhulunbuy has opened an account for the Tour. Details are as below.
Westpac Nhulunbuy Branch
Acct name :    Tour de Arnhemland
BSB:                035304
Acct:                236872

Preparation for Riders:

It is essential for riders to make sure they are in shape for the ride. You will need to be able to ride across dirt tracks for about 100km per day. We ride on all dirt tracks, which vary quite a lot. Soft surfaces and sand, hills, single tyre ruts, creek crossings, can dominate the scene for many kms. Make sure you are trained and your bike is suitably equipped for it.
The ride is a Tour, we all ride together, and you’ll really appreciate all the preparation that you do beforehand.
The weather will be warm and sunny (hopefully) so it will drain you if you are not in shape.

Alcohol:

Nope, Arnhemland is prescribed NO alcohol area. The drinks will be reserved for before we go and when were finished in Jabiru and back in Nhulunbuy. You are not allowed to carry alcohol through Arnhemland.

Logisitics:

Everything must be carried from Nhulunbuy and returned to Nhulunbuy. All food for the trip,  as well as camping equipment, bikes and spares, will be loaded in Nhulunbuy and returned to Nhulunbuy. It is a major effort in logistics to carry equipment and food for up to 35 people, for 10 days, on the back of trucks and trailers through Arnhemland. There are no shops or camping grounds where we are going.

What is provided:

The Tour will provide all food, major campsite equipment (tables, chairs, showers, dunnies), bike spares and repair equipment, first aid and medical. And transport for your personal gear.

What you will need:

You, your bike, bike riding clothes, bike shoes, and equipment, helmet (compulsory), sun protection, camelback, spares if not common, campsite clothing, single tent (typically mozzie dome type with a fly cover will suffice or swags are OK), sleeping bag, hiking mattress or similar, camping pillow, toiletries, towel, thongs or sandles, personal light (headlights seem to be the go), cameras.
Basically, every person will have enough room in the vehicles for a large sports bag, so whatever you can fit into one of them is OK.
Please utilise Gove Tackle and Outdoors, in Nhulunbuy, for as many of your purchases as possible. They can source most things if they don’t have them in store. Mention TdeA.

Weather:

Days are warm, typically 28-32 deg C. Weather is dry (it’s the middle of the dry season) but there can be some humidity and showers are possible. Nights can be cool, between 15-25 deg C is typical. There can be dew overnight at some of the inland locations. You may need long sleeve tops for the night and a fly for your tent is recommended.

Crocodiles and Buffalos:

Yep, always make sure your tent is not the closest to the river.

A typical day:

Woken by the ever cheerful singing of Conno, this will be almost certainly  the Collingwood club song after their lucky win in 2010. Crawl out of sleeping bag in the early daylight around 6.00am. Stretch, maybe head off into the scrub with the shovel and dunny roll. Back for a wash in the creek (nearly all camps are on a river side). Pull the riding clothes off the line, pack up the tent, fill the camelback, have a magnificent breaky and start thinking of the day ahead.

The first ride of the day is usually 15km, and off we go at around 7.00 am or so. Usually fairly spread out like brown’s cows for the first stint. The lead car setting the pace with all the riders somewhere behind. Ride in 15km and 10 km stints, meeting up with the lead car to reload the camelback or have a snack at the end of each stint, up until lunch sometime around midday. Conno and crew have gone ahead to find some great roadside spot in the shade. Lunch for an hour or so, a great feed, complain about the aches, the heat etc. Then it is back on the bikes for the same in the afternoon stints.

Depending on the required distance for the day, we will roll into the evening campsite sometime around 3.00pm to 6.00pm. Again Conno and crew have gone ahead and the campsite is a wonderful collection of tarps, tables, lights, smells of a great dinner, usually along the side of some glorious arnhemland river. Roll in on your dusty machine, park it up against some tree, and fall into the creek. Always check for local reptiles first.

Find your bag, find a spot and set up your tent and night time gear, wash your riding clothes, any bike maintenance also. Have a great evening feed, all the war stories of the day. Usually hit the hay around 8.30 or 9.00pm (that seems really late after the long day !!)
Once we make it into Jabiru, it is possible there will be a very late night of great celebration. Also, this is possible on the next few nights after returning to Nhulunbuy.

Any special requirements:

Dietary – Contact Conno direct if you have special requirements.
Medical – We have the great fortune of having St John offering to supply a Paramedic (Mark) and ambulance support vehicle for the entire ride. That is brilliant. Also some of the participants are nurses and doctors, please let us know if you have any special medical requirements for the ride.

Other stuff:

Communications – you will be out of mobile range for nearly all the ride. We will carry satellite phones, which will be restricted use only, unless emergencies etc. If you need daily texting or facebook to survive, then there are going to be problems during this Tour.
Alcohol- as mentioned above, Arnhemland is a prescribed area. Alcohol is not allowed to be carried on the ride.
Cameras and video – go for it, but please note that some of the areas are sensitive aboriginal areas, and you probably shouldn’t plan on commercial use of photos and video from these areas without organising permissions with the traditional owners.
Accommodation in Nhulunbuy- Billeting will be provided for out of towners. There is a hotel “The Walkabout Lodge” if you are that way inclined.
Travel to Nhulunbuy – Qantas has it sown up pretty much, from the big airlines point of view. There is one flight from Darwin in the early morning that flies onto Cairns. And in the evening there is one flight in the other direction, it is from Cairns and onto Darwin. Also, Air North, a regional airline, does flights as well to and from Darwin. Once you get serious about the ride, you had better sort your travel to Nhulunbuy out, it can become hard to get the flights you want, and pretty expensive. As mentioned above, please plan on getting to Nhulunbuy the weekend before (at least), and try to stay a few days extra at the end to bask in the glory.
People – I have the list of riders and crew, and have talked to a lot of them already. Most of the 2008 Tour are back. The 2011 Tour is bigger so we have plenty of new starters. The people will make this Tour, and hope you will really make some long term friends and memories that will be pretty special for many years.
Arnhemland – without a doubt, it is a privilege to have access to some of the oldest and most significant cultural land in Australia. You will feel the sense of this place as you ride across this special land.

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